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Am I eligible for a housing allocation or help if I am homeless?

This page is for new arrivals. If you are a housing adviser, please click for information more relevant to you.

What this page is about

This page describes how your immigration status or European Union rights determine if you are eligible:

Your rights to these depend on whether you are an EEA national or from outside the EEA. This page also tells you about your right to advice if you are at risk of becoming homeless and other ways to find housing if you aren’t eligible.

The right to advice and information for homeless people

Every local council must make sure that free advice and information is available to everyone in their area to help prevent you from becoming homelessness, if you are at risk, or help you find accommodation if you are actually homeless. This right is for everyone, regardless of immigration status or right to reside, and there are certain groups of people, such as those leaving hospital or council care, whom the council must make sure can access this advice and information.

British and Irish citizens and their family members

If you are a British or Irish citizen you are entitled to housing and assistance if you are homeless provided that you are habitually resident or if you have been deported or removed from another country to the UK. If you are the family member of a British or Irish citizen your rights depend on the immigration status you have: see the British and Irish family members page.

European nationals

If you are a European national (known here as EEA nationals) or an EEA family member you are eligible for housing if:

  • you have been granted settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme and you are ‘habitually resident’ in the British Isles or Ireland;
  • you have been granted EU pre-settled status and you have an EEA ‘right to reside’ that qualifies you for housing; or
  • you have an EEA ‘right to reside’ that qualifies you for housing and you applied to the EU Settlement Scheme on or before 30 June 2021 (or your late application has been accepted) but your application has not yet been decided.

You have an EEA right to reside that qualifies you for housing if:

Unless you are a worker, a frontier worker, a self-employed person (or have retained your worker/frontier worker/self-employed person status) you must also be habitually resident.

If you were lawfully resident in the UK on 31 December 2020 but you did not apply to the EU Settlement Scheme on or before 30 June 2021 you may have lost your right to live in the UK. You should seek advice from a registered immigration adviser immediately and ask about making a late application.

People from outside the EEA

If you are a citizen of a country from outside the EEA, you are generally subject to immigration control and you are disqualified from help with housing, unless:

In any other case if you are from outside the EEA, including if you have limited leave, you are not eligible for housing and homelessness help.

Other housing services for people who aren’t eligible

If you aren’t eligible for housing from the council you may be able to rent from a private landlord. In an emergency, you may be able to get accommodation from social services if you have social care needs, children or if you are fleeing domestic violence. In any other case you may be able to get help from a charity if you are homeless and destitute.